Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


September 19, 2012

Letter: Keep Andover dams for history, river

Editor, Townsman:

A recent Boston newspaper article about the removal of Andover dams pointed out pros and cons on how this complicated issue can disturb the environment. The issue at hand requires removing three dams in Andover and it seems money is available for individuals to get rid of something that has been part of the fabric of this town.

Two dams were part of the industrial history of the industries that once flourished in Andover; the other dam decorative. The loss of the Marland Mills is supported by Atria Marland Place an outfit that tries to make senior living better, but the destruction of a waterfall would change that image. The Ballardvale dam, also part of the historical industrial base, is safe for now as the Shawsheen River Office Condominium Association opposed its removal. The Balmoral dam is harmless, unless it's abused by those who aren't safety minded.

Somewhere in our past history, something happened to the dam at the old Smith and Dove mills. I was even told it was blown up! Were the dam busters active then?

I request all those who want to get rid of the Andover dams to look at the Shawsheen River just up a bit on Red Spring Road and look for the river as it hardly exists because of weeds and mud. The waterflow there is neglible. Before the demise of that important dam, people swam, fished and skated on the Shawsheen River and admired a great body of water. Now river land is available to relocate that elusive town yard location.

Robert Stefani

332 South Main St.

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